Thursday, May 27, 2010

Best of BC: Merlot

$20 and belot:

Cassini Cellars 2011 Merlot - $19
Practically an un-oaked Merlot which is a great style for BC which has been guilty, from time-to-time, of over-oaking under-ripe Merlot, turning the Bordeaux varietal into a mere conduit for French or American oak flavours rather than letting the fruit speak for itself.
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Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2010 Merlot - $20
There is plenty to like from the 2010 vintage with its later harvest resulting in added layers of complexity; white pepper, sagebrush and sweet smoke. House-style is achieved with good tannin structure, solid fruit and palate-cleansing, fresh acidity.
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Young and Wyse Collection 2009 Merlot - $20
There is a sweetness to the nose of this well-priced Merlot from Osoyoos winery Young and Wyse Collection which is so very pleasant to quaff. Crushed dark berries dominate and provide the sweetness accompanied by warm stone aromas reminiscent of the desert-like conditions of Osoyoos itself.
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$30 and belot:

Gold Hill Winery 2009 Merlot - $23
Highly extracted, reminiscent of Aussie reds with a hint of mint and a whopping 15.2% alcohol supporting the association. Yet, beyond that, it's pure South Okanagan dried herbs and big dark berry characters on display which firmly remind you you're drinking a well-made, local Merlot.
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Fairview Cellars 2009 Merlot - $25
An intense, bold nose of ripe, extracted dark berries supported by toasted oak, vanilla and pencil shaving aromas. On the palate the entry is sweeter than typical for a Fairview wine with scrumptious dark fruit purée, sweet oak flavours and mouth-watering acidity.
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Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2009 Oldfield Series Merlot - $29
A very consistent wine, year-to-year, perfect for red meat and chocolate plate pairings thanks to its combination of dense, dark berry and savoury, licorice'n'cola aromas and flavours.
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SpierHead Winery 2009 Merlot - $30
A mix of savoury, earthy and oak notes blend nicely with ripe blackberry, raspberry seed an mint aromas on the nose. The dry palate enjoys body from just a hint of residual sugar and lush mixed berry fruit flavours creating a lovely weight in your mouth.
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Stag's Hollow Winery 2009 Renaissance Merlot - $30
Blended with 5% Cabernet Sauvignon which is inter-planted within one block of the Merlot, the wine presents a juicy, almost sweet entry on the palate with concentrated flavours of red and dark fruits.
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$40 and belot:

Cassini Cellars 2008 Nobilus - $39
A tasty treat full of dark berry, earthy peat, smoky licorice, toasted oak, dark chocolate and cherry-cola candy aromas and flavours. The sublime nose also delights with aromatics notes of rose petals.
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Painted Rock 2007 Merlot - $40
The concentrated, dry palate is elegant with a refined texture, good acidity, strong continuity of flavours from the nose and a long finish with lingering spice.
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